Descent Into Madness by Josh Ryks-Robinsky

Descent Into Madness

August 2014
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
6 stitches = 1 inch
in Garter Stitch
US 5 - 3.75 mm
580 - 620 yards (530 - 567 m)
One Size
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“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”
~ Hamlet; Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare, Act 2, Scene 2.

One of the most famous plays by the Bard, Hamlet is a twisted mess of a play. Revenge, comedy, tragedy, love, heartbreak, madness, manipulation, murder, grief, and death all come to stir the plot and add to the emotional tension of the play. Hamlet is the grieving son mourning his father’s death. But is that all Hamlet is?

The first time I read the play (and actually the first play I ever read by Shakespeare), I viewed Hamlet as a victim of fate. But upon further reflection and readings, Hamlet comes out as a mad genius/orchestrator of all the chaos proceeding the death of his father. We watch as Hamlet manipulates the emotions of his family and friends, alters events for his favor, and plans to take revenge - all while on the brink of going mad himself.

The play is the unravelling of a powerful mind and the descent into madness and chaos over the course of the play inspired this shawl.

The shawl is knit sideways with an incorporated i-cord edging. The color stripes descend from the lighter main color into the darker contrast with a slow, but steady rate. A little bit of short-row shaping completes the first half of the shawl. On the second half of the shawl, we enter full on madness as the colors blend and blur through the use of a slip stitch texture and the subtle striping of the two colors.

Size: 70 inches along the top edge X 15 inches down the center spine.

Recommended yarn: Two colors of fingering weight yarn in semi-solid/tonal/solid colors. Sample used Sun Valley Fibers MCS (75% Merino/10% Cashmere/15% Silk; 400 yds per skein) in the color ways Kensington (A) and Plum Crazy (B)

Yardage: Color A: 320 yds/ 293 m; Color B: 300 yds/ 275 m

Needles: 32 US size 5/3.75 mm circular needle

Gauge: 6 sts to the inch in garter stitch

Notions: Scissors, tapestry needle